What is a Lichtenbergian and why does it need an -ism?
Way back in 2007, I invited a group of men to join me by my fire pit for a Winter Solstice get-together. Since it was the middle of the holidays, I was surprised when all of them accepted.
All were connected to me through my work at the Newnan Community Theatre Company, from which I had stepped down as artistic director in 2002 after 20+ years in that position. All were creative in multiple ways: writers, musicians, composers, painters, actors. All were creative in their careers as well.
At the time, we were all discussing various aspects of Art on my blog, and one day in the middle of an argument over the validity of older forms like opera and the symphony Kevin McInturff posted:
"To do the opposite is also a form of imitation." — G. C. Lichtenberg
Who was this Lichtenberg fellow anyway? I did a swift search and found that he was an 18th-c. German mathematician and physicist. More importantly for us (and the world), he was a procrastinator. From the Wikipedia article:
Lichtenberg was prone to procrastination. He failed to launch the first ever hydrogen balloon, and although he always dreamed of writing a novel à la Fielding's Tom Jones, he never finished more than a few pages. [Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. (2016, July 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:04, August 29, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Georg_Christoph_Lichtenberg&oldid=730914101]
Here, surely, was our patron saint. By the time we met on Dec 22, we had formed The Lichtenbergian Society, dedicated to the proposition that procrastination is a key virtue in the creative process. We have a Charter and officers and everything.
We met regularly by the fire to drink and to discuss Art and to drink, with our Annual Meeting the culmination of our year.
And a funny thing happened. All of us became more productive.